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Brazilian Internet rights bill ready for Congress' review

The Brazilian minister of communications announced that Tuesday, Aug. 23, a bill defining Internet rights was ready and would be sent shortly to Congress for its review, reported the newspaper Folha de São Paulo. The bill has been under discussion for over a year.

"This bill has been discussed for long enough. We had not been able to schedule time with the president (Dilma Rousseff), but we wrote a version yesterday where she saw every point and we saw the necessity to make small changes to the bill," said Minister Paulo Bernardo.

Among the bill's main points are net neutrality, the conditions under which Internet providers must maintain a registry of their users and specific regulations for content providers, reported the Agência Brasil. The goal of the new regulatory framework is to define the rules and rights of users and companies that use the Internet. Currently, Brazil has no regulation on the matter.

Minister Bernardo announced the bill's draft at the House of Representatives' Science, Technology and Communications Commission. He hoped the bill would be sent to the lower house the week of Aug. 29 with few modifications to the original draft from the Justice Ministry, added Agência Câmara.

With the draft of the regulatory framework, the government hoped to put the breaks on the progress of bill 84/99, also known as "AI-5 digital" (in reference to the Brazilian military dictatorship's decree used to restrict civil rights), criticized for opening the door to restricting freedom of expression on the Internet. Activists from the Free Internet Movement said there should be a civil code governing the Internet that clarified the rules for users before pursuing a criminal one, reported IDG Now.

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